Kayaking is a fun way to explore the Outer Banks from the water. Whether in the ocean or the sound, you can spend your time kayaking enjoying the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. Ocean kayaking is known to be more thrilling, while soundside kayaking is usually a more peaceful experience. Many kayakers also enjoy fishing from their kayak!
Ocean kayaking is exciting and a great way to explore more of the ocean then you would by simply swimming. Make sure you are using an ocean specific kayak that will keep you afloat and make you better prepared for the ocean conditions. These kayaks are usually lighter weight and have an open seating area (“sit on top” style) that is able to take on additional water from any wave action you may encounter. Launch your kayak anywhere along the Outer Banks beaches, or visit a special landmark like Jennette’s Pier.
For many, soundside kayaking is more peaceful than ocean kayaking. There are usually minimal waves or currents and plenty of shallow areas to get in and out of your kayak. You can use an ocean kayak in the sound, or a traditional “cockpit style” kayak that covers your legs and hips to keep your body drier during your journey. Unless you are staying in a soundfront home, you will need to find a public access to launch your kayak at in the sound. There are plenty of public sound accesses along the Outer Banks, here are some of the top locations:
Duck & Corolla are great towns to launch your kayak on the sound. In Duck, there is a kayak launch ramp at the Town of Duck Soundside Park. From there you can paddle around the Duck Boardwalk and explore some of the marshland areas that are filled with wildlife. Plan your trip around dusk to see a beautiful sunset over the Currituck Sound.
In Corolla, there is a launch ramp at the Whalehead Club and Heritage Park. From the water you will have stunning views of the Currituck Lighthouse as well as the historic Whalehead Club. Venture further out to explore the marshlands and see more wildlife.
In Nags Head, visit West Soundside Road for a great kayak launch area. This soundside access is sandy and shallow, and is usually busy with swimmers, kayakers, and kite boarders. Paddle north to see Jockey’s Ridge from the water.
For a real adventure with Outer Banks wildlife take your kayak to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The area here is so beautiful that many local companies offer guided kayak tours. But you can still take and launch your own kayak at the onsite launch.
Further south, stop by Canadian Hole between Avon and Buxton for kayaking and the opportunity to observe kite boarding. It is one of the most popular places for kite boarding on the east coast, so there is usually a lot to see.
The Outer Banks is full of outdoor activities. If you are ready to purchase your very own vacation home, permanent residence or investment property, let Eillu show you real estate so you can enjoy all the Outer Banks has to offer.